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Atata might just be your Huckleberry

By Emma Everett, Guest Blogger | 7.25.17

Tombstone

I’m Your Huckleberry

Remember that line from the movie, “Tombstone?”  Doc Holiday catches up with nefarious Ringo and delivers one of the most quoted lines in Western movie history. And, just in case you didn’t see the movie or understand what Doc is talking about, Doc is basically saying, “When I shoot– I don’t miss.”

In Nashville’s wild west of product and software development companies, there’s a new gunslinger in town. (Did I go too far with the western analogy?)

Atata is now on the scene and they just might be your Huckleberry. How will you know? You might start by asking yourself a few questions:

  • Do I need a rapid prototype or MVP developed?
  • Do I need wireframes for a new app I’m creating?
  • Do I need a software product fully developed from UX to product road-mapping?
  • Do I need a software expert(s) to come in and help me accelerate my build or help me get through a pinch?

If the answer to any of the above questions is yes, then there’s a good chance Atata is your huckleberry.

Don’t worry, though.  We’re not going to oversell you or take on a project unless we’re confident we will hit a bullseye. If you’re looking for a general how-to guide on how to go about hiring a software development company, there are some great resources out there. And, rather than reinvent the wheel, we’ll simply share our favorite one with you.

So, how is Atata the same/different from the other “gunslingers” in town?

  • 100% Nashville talent
  • Senior level team
  • Transparency
  • Flexibility to pivot and meet a unique need

Atata’s core services include:

  • Project-based application development
  • Product development
  • UX/UI
  • Data science (i.e. machine learning, predictive modeling, natural language processing, statistical analysis)
  • Staff Augmentation

Since Atata is a young company, we’re interested in hearing from you about your needs when it comes to application builds and software development.  Drop us a line either through our website or by emailing emma.everett@atata.co.  More information can be found at atata.co.

Nossi’s Photography Certificate Program will help serious hobbyists and company employees

By Leslie Kerr, Guest Blogger | 7.6.17

A new Photography Certificate Program at Nossi College of Art will help serious hobbyists or business owners and employees who need to take better pictures for their company web sites and social media pages.

Starting this fall, the 16-week program will meet four hours per week at night. Professional photography instructors will utilize Nossi’s facilities to teach camera functions, lighting techniques, studio etiquette and software programs for post-production needs.

“It’s going to be fun, intensive and we’re going to be moving fast,” said Nossi Photography Coordinator Tom Stanford. “We anticipate having very motivated students who want to come in and, in four short months, really improve their skill sets.”

A major advantage for certificate students will be access to Nossi’s 2,500 square foot photo studio, the largest instructional studio in the southeast. They will also receive focused instruction to process their work in a professional setting. The course will be structured in segments that will include some beginning photography, software instruction, advanced photography and cataloging.

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“The idea is to shoot a little bit, learn about how to process those images, shoot more sophisticated stuff, and then learn how to do post-production in the Adobe programs Photoshop and Lightroom,” Stanford said. “Lightroom allows you to organize your photos in a logical way. It also allows you to make changes on photographs and, at any time in the future, go back and undo those changes or edit further.”

While classes are structured, students will be expected to shoot most of their projects outside the classroom. As techniques are explained, outside assignments will be assigned accordingly to help students hone a specific technique, according to Stanford.

Another important element of Nossi’s new photography certificate program is the partnership with Dury’s, a Nashville photography company established in 1882. Part of Dury’s mission is to help customers learn how to use their photography equipment most effectively.

According to Cyrus Vatandoost, Executive Vice President of Nossi College, a partnership between Dury’s and Nossi College is the perfect collaboration.

“Dury’s and Nossi have had a longstanding relationship,” Vatandoost said. “We at Nossi want to support the local photography community and Dury’s has the same vision. They work with our students on camera and lighting options and Dury’s owner Charles Small been a member of Nossi’s photography advisory board for a decade. They help us understand what’s new in photography equipment and what is available for students.”

Nossi’s photography certificate program will offer Dury’s customers a way to advance, either as a hobbyist or staff photographer.

“It’s a two-way street,” Vatandoost said. “Nossi will share knowledge of skill and technique while Dury’s offers insight into available equipment. Their experts will be able to offer suggestions on how to use certain cameras.”

Vatandoost hastened to add that the certificate program is open to anyone with an interest, not just Dury’s customers.

“This certificate will serve many markets,” he said. “Some serious hobbyists already have equipment, have learned all they can on their own and need someone to take them to the next level. Some students may want to start a small full- or part-time photography business and they will benefit from additional skills that we can teach them. Then there are those who work in corporate or business environments who find themselves now being the social media person for their company. This will help them and their employers.”

The Photography Certificate Program will begin in Fall 2017. Course and admissions information is available at www.nossi.edu.

 

Nossi College of Art launches new UX/UI Design program

By Libby Funke, Guest Blogger | 5.24.17

Improving one’s professional development isn’t always the most exciting thing to check off your professional to do list.

Everyone has been part of team building exercises, multi-day conventions to learn the latest (insert latest thing here) or classes making you more proficient in Excel, Word, or even social media. Rarely do these opportunities leave you feeling empowered to use or share these new skills.

Nossi College of Art wants to help change how you make an impact on your career.

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Starting in the fall, Nossi College will offer a 16-week UX/UI Design certificate to help marketers, business owners, executives, and those looking to dip their toes into a new career field, find useful skillsets that can be transferred to the professional world.

UX/UI Design is in high demand, not only in Middle Tennessee, but also across the country. More companies are asking new hires to have knowledge in the tech arena, specifically around web development and design.

With hundreds of thousands of vacant jobs in the tech field, and an average salary of $90,000*, Nossi College saw this need when creating our Bachelor and Associate Web and Interactive degrees. Because of this need, we began researching and created a perceptive, 16-week UX/UI Design certificate course.

Whether you are a complete beginner, you have been dabbling with code and want to become more efficient, or you are proficient and want to learn about theories behind your design, this 16-week course was made for you.

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You will have an opportunity to learn Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator skills on top of web design skills and by the time you have completed the certification, you can take measurable skills back to your job or you can start thinking about changing your path altogether.

Nossi College is also offering NAMA members an exclusive scholarship opportunity for half off tuition.

Interested in that scholarship opportunity? Simply sign up here for your chance to be considered.

During the certificate program, the NAMA scholarship winner will post to social media periodically, create blogs about their experience and give a testimonial at the end of the program.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Libby Funke with Nossi College. Call her at 615.514.2787 or email her at LFunke@nossi.edu.

 

*According to a recent report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Volunteer Spotlight: Austin Harrison

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Austin Harrison
Relationship Director, Identity Visuals
NAMA Board Member, Sponsorship Chair

What prompted you to join NAMA?
I started coming to NAMA events shortly after moving to Nashville. My boss recommended it as a great place to learn about the Nashville marketing community.

You currently serve (or have served) on NAMA’s Board. Why did you decide to volunteer?
About four years ago – when I first started at my role for Identity Visuals – I literally had no idea what I was doing and knew no one. So many people helped me that first year, taking me to coffee, giving me advice, connecting me with people, and inviting me to events like NAMA. Joining the board and endeavoring to do the same things for other new Nashvillians is one of the ways I’ve tried to pay it forward.

What has been (or was) your proudest moment in this role?
Helping to start the NAMA Podcast and negotiating that sponsorship was definitely one of the highlights. Clark and Chuck at Relationary have been amazing to work with, and it was a blast helping to kick that off.

How has NAMA impacted you professionally?
I’ve learned from the brightest Nashville (and sometimes other cities) has to offer, I’ve made lifetime friends, I’ve been able to help new people to town, and I’ve made great relationships that have resulted in working together. NAMA also was a huge part of making my first conference, the Mental Health Marketing Conference, successful last May.

What differentiates NAMA from other groups?
The quality of events, the welcoming nature, and the people.

Can you share a memorable experience from your career thus far?
Seeing our small studio grow over the last four years to work with clients like CBS, Reddit, and Amazon. That and the time I got to tour the NASA Goddard Space station with the NASA animation team and see the James Webb Space Telescope in person – that was pretty cool.

Why would you encourage others to join and volunteer with NAMA?
You will not find a better opportunity in the marketing community to learn, build relationships, and give back than NAMA.

Volunteer Spotlight: Tim Earnhart

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Tim Earnhart
Founder/CEO of Werkshop Branding
NAMA Board Member, Chair of Entertainment & Sports Marketing SIG

What prompted you to join NAMA?
I re-joined NAMA in 2014 as a board member. However, our company had been a member since 2008. NAMA is a great place to find industry thought leadership, networking opportunities, potential business, and amazing friendships.

You currently serve on NAMA’s Board. Why did you decide to volunteer?
I enjoy giving of my time to valuable organizations that I personally will benefit from. NAMA provides multiple volunteer opportunities in various areas. It was easy for me to find a spot where I thought I could be of benefit to the organization. 

What has been (or was) your proudest moment in this role?
Upon joining the board in 2014, I initially served on the volunteer committee as co-chair and then chair. During this time I talked and met with countless professionals who wanted to get involved with NAMA and volunteer just like me. It was very fulfilling for me to meet these people and learn more about their passions and what drove them to want to get involved with NAMA.

Within the last few months, NAMA has launched the Entertainment & Sports Marketing SIG – their newest special interest group – and I have agreed to chair that SIG. It only makes sense for NAMA to have such a group given the impact both entertainment and sports have on Nashville.

How has NAMA impacted you professionally?
The past three years have been extremely positive for me. I have learned so much interacting with fellow board members, members, and speakers/panelists. You get out of anything what you put in it. I live in Kentucky, so I’ve made it a commitment and priority to attend as many of the NAMA events as possible.

What differentiates NAMA from other groups?
NAMA is diverse. It’s that simple. Meaning, those who are involved with NAMA come from various professional disciplines like marketing, branding, advertising, communications, PR, social & digital media, C-suite, management, and even business ownership.

You will find a great mix of agency and corporate. I love this about NAMA. The diversity of our membership is great. This is what I think sets us apart from other groups.

Can you share a memorable experience from your career thus far?
I’m what they call a serial entrepreneur, so I have had many memorable experiences. I’ve been a co-founder or partner of seven start-ups/companies over the last 16 years. I enjoy the excitement and challenges behind launching a new brand or growing an existing business.

I was honored in 2004 as the Small Business Person of the Year by the Bowling Green, KY Chamber of Commerce. My most proud moment was in 2012 when I was honored by Junior Achievement USA with the national Impact Award for my service to that non-profit organization. I’ve served on a local JA board for 20 years. 

Why would you encourage others to join and volunteer with NAMA?
Our time as professionals is precious. However, if you make a commitment to NAMA and all that it has to offer, it will be time well spent. You get out of it what you put in it. There’s plenty of other organizations and events in Nashville that can consume your time. However, if you are at all in the global world of marketing, you need to be a part of NAMA.

Volunteer Spotlight: Emily Fay

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Emily Fay
Marketing Manager, Remar, Inc.
Secretary (2015)
Board Member at Large (2012-2013)
Collegiate Relation Chair (2010-2012)

What prompted you to join NAMA?
I moved to Nashville in 2007 on a whim, I had no job, just my best friend from 3rd grade. As a member of the University of Nebraska – Lincoln AMA chapter I knew, if I wanted to meet the top marketers in town I needed to attend NAMA’s events.

You served on NAMA’s Board for several years. Why did you decide to volunteer?
I wasn’t really looking for more activities to get involved in when I was asked to help with the Collegiate Relations committee. However, I am a strong believer in the more you put into an organization the more you get out of it.

I also felt that having been a member of a collegiate chapter in the past, gave me some insight into what students would need and want from our chapter.

What was your proudest moment in your role as Collegiate Relations Chair?
That is easy! Dreaming up and executing the Marketing the Marketer event.

This event gave students the opportunity to connect with Marketers and HR professionals. They got to ask questions about everything from what it is like to work in Marketing to what to expect in an interview.

The first year we did this, I was expecting that maybe 15-20 students would be there, but we sold out of tickets and 40 students showed up!

How has NAMA impacted you professionally?
I don’t know where my career would be without NAMA. I have found both of my marketing positions in Nashville through this organization. The first role was an Account Manager at Allegiant Direct, Inc., and that job found me through the NAMA job board. The second role, my current position at Remar, was found through a NAMA Mixer.

What differentiates NAMA from other groups?
NAMA has a good mix of marketing folks, that are excited to learn from each other.

This is organization is fantastic for networking. The best part is that if your networking skill level doesn’t matter. If you are new to it, someone will guide you along. If networking is your expertise, there is always someone new and interesting to meet at NAMA.

Can you share a memorable experience from your career thus far?
It is hard for me to pin point just one experience. There are highlights from every marketing role I have had. The one that is sticking out to me right now hasn’t happened yet. But, in a couple weeks the non-profit organization I started, Nashville Huskers, will host its 100th football watch party.

Why would you encourage others to join and volunteer with NAMA?
I said this before, but the more you put into NAMA the more you get out of it, and in order to volunteer with NAMA, you need to be a member.

When you volunteer with NAMA you make connections with incredible marketers, and they can actually see the quality of your work. For me, when it came to finding a job, the recommendation from someone who I had volunteered with was a factor in getting the job I have today.

Three Easy Tips for Communicating to Your Employees

By Annalise Bandel, NAMA Blogger | 10.19.16

Communication is key in any organization, but one size does not fit all when it comes to actually communicating to your employees.

Whether through a social application on a mobile phone, routine email messages, or one-on-one interaction,  it’s important to figure out what works best for your leadership to disseminate information and to cater to the audience of your company.

That said, email messages continually rank at the top for best methods of communication.

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Here are three easy ways to disseminate information to your employees – no matter the size. You may already do this, but if not, it’s an easy place to start.

Weekly Digest
A weekly touchpoint can disseminate timely and relevant information to all employees. Consistency is key, and it’s good to send these at the same time each week so that employees know when they will receive new information.

Company Newsletter
An internal newsletter is a great opportunity to include fun and lighthearted content. This is a perfect outlet for employee spotlights and recognition, as well as a current state of the union or company updates from your leadership team.

One-off Emails
These direct emails contain the most important information that employees need to know and should be sent sparingly. New appointments in leadership, organizational structure updates, and press mentions are good topics for these emails. This allows you to share information with employees firsthand, before the word “gets out.”

These three methods are easy ways to communicate to your employees – and a great way for them to receive any type of information you want or need to communicate. Keep in mind that it’s important for a company to streamline its communication, so as to not inundate employees with emails.

What’s so important about emails? The data.

Stay tuned for more info on trends on email open rates and read rates and what to look for when looking at the data. In the meantime, check out this great post by Emma on Why Email Will Never Die.

[PODCAST] Dan Rogers brings stories to life at the Grand Ole Opry

By Chuck Bryant, Relationary Marketing | 10.6.16

Dan Rogers remembers listening to the original Grand Ole Opry radio show with his parents, trying to guess how large the crowd was or debating whether or not there would be a surprise guest.

“The Opry was a place you could go to in your mind on a Saturday night when you’re 8 years old and stuck in the middle of Nowhere, Illinois.”

Now almost 30 years later, Rogers is the senior marketing director at the Grand Ole Opry, and will be the featured guest at Nashville American Marketing Association Power Lunch on October 13, discussing the impact of the Opry’s storytelling opportunities on marketing.  

Rogers started as a graduate intern right after college, and hasn’t looked back since. He said The Opry presents so many unique opportunities for stories and experiences.

“It’s a place where you have all these personalities coming together,” Rogers said, “You could have Carrie Underwood listening to a bluegrass artist, or Vince Gill watching a new performer who idolized him growing up.”  

The tradition of the Opry starts with the stories artists and fans share about their unique experiences with the radio show, concerts, or personalities.

“It’s about the music, but it’s also this very special relationship between the artists and fans.”

For an establishment seeped in tradition, Rogers is trying to expand the reach of their stories through organic uses of social media by artists and fans. In the old days the only method of delivering an experience was through radio or TV. Now stars and fans interact on social media, sharing stories in real time.

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While the show might not be as prominent as it once was, the Opry is still an important staple to so many people. Rogers thinks back to watching so many up and coming artists who perform at the Opry for the first time, and invite all their family members from all over the world to see them.    

“You’re reminded of what an important part of America is right in our backyard in Nashville.”

Connect with Rogers on LinkedIn.

On October 13, Dan Rogers presents The Grand Ole Opry’s Secrets to Using Storytelling for Impact at the NAMA Power Lunch at City Winery. Register now.  

Editor’s Note: The NAMA Power Lunch podcast is a production of Relationary Marketing in partnership with the Nashville American Marketing Association. This episode was produced by Chuck Bryant and host Clark Buckner, edited and mixed by Jess Grommet, with music by Zachary D. Noblitt.

 

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Chuck Bryant is co-founder and CEO of Relationary Marketing, a podcast production agency that creates broadcast-quality interviews for rich content marketing, event promotion, relationship nurturing and thought leadership.

Why It’s Important to Be The Favorite Client

By Kevin Endres, Guest Blogger | 8.24.16

Most ad agencies, PR firms, and digital agencies won’t admit  in public to having a favorite client. But they do.

And these favorite clients get a lot more: attention, the best people working on their business, the best ideas and, maybe, more services for a better price.

Recently, I was chatting with a colleague at an industry function and a woman walked past. My colleague stopped our conversation and said, “That’s the marketing person for what used to be our favorite client.”

Everyone in our company would stop everything when they called. And they’re a non-profit, so it’s not like we made a lot on their business. But we loved working for them.

“We would even get together and brainstorm ideas on how to help their business on our own. It was great!” my colleague said.

I asked, “They’re not your favorite client anymore?”

My colleague responded that there was a new day-to-day person in front of the marketing director. He said she doesn’t allow access to her boss and isn’t interested when his firm calls with new ideas. He followed that up by stating that this business no longer gets any special treatment from his firm.

As someone who’s worked at a fair share of agencies throughout the country, I’ve seen how people fight to work on certain clients and let others slide by.

You might think the agency (I’m using the term “agency” here for simplicity, but mean: design studio, digital agency, PR firm) should give equal importance to every client, but people (and agencies) are human (or filled with humans).

And that’s just the way it is.

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To attain “favored client” status and reap its benefits, keep at least some of the following (in no specific order) in mind:

Give decent timelines
We understand that every once in awhile something has to be done at the last minute. But a client who continually says every job is hot will never become favored.

Give a problem to solve
Marketing people love problems. Those are the things that we get out of bed in the morning for. Instead of saying, “We need a ______,” say, “We have a problem driving customers to our new location. Got any ideas on how to solve that?”

Provide budget parameters
Clients are afraid that if they give a budget number then their firm will take it all. On the flip side, your agency can’t give you a doable idea unless they know how much you can spend. Even a budget range is good. Hold a little back if you’re nervous.

Provide feedback direction, not “change this to…”
Great clients say, “This isn’t right because…” and kill it. They also say, “This is close, but remember we need to focus on (such and such) in the message.” And “This fits because our marketing plan is going in this direction.” Great feedback.

Push for the best all the time
The best people in this business want to do their best work all the time. They don’t mind—in fact they admire—clients who say and push for only the best work. Challenge them. Tell them when you don’t think it’s their best (be honest).

The best client I ever had constantly pushed us. And we kept upping our game and did genre-changing work in their category. That pushed them ahead of their rivals while being outspent four to one in marketing.

Thank them for great work
We all love praise when we do great work. One time a client sent me a bouquet of flowers for something I did. I always remembered that and worked harder than ever for them.

Go for the bold
A client who constantly says, “They’ll never go for it” and lets ideas die on the table will take the wind out of his/her agency. Grab a bold idea. Take it up to the next level. If it dies, at least you tried. And you’ll be seen as a hero by your agency.

Be accessible
We know you have a ton going on. And your agency is just one of the many things you must deal with. Nothing puts a chill in an agency more than, “I haven’t heard from the client for a while.”

Be organized
Even if you’re a bit overwhelmed (we all can be), have a problem and objective thought out. Have some background for your agency to grasp the issues at hand.

Pay on time
Everyone at your agency knows which clients pay on time and which are laggards. This is talked about within your agency and turns off people from wanting to work on your business.

I realize this is a big list. But you can get a lot of love by adhering to just a few of these ideas. In the end you’ll get more for your marketing dollar and probably a lot more love from your agency.

 

Kevin Endres
Kevin Endres is Owner/Creative Director of The International Offices, Nashville, a branding/advertising firm. Find him at @realendres.

Incoming NAMA President: Get Ready to Have Some Fun!

By Jamie Dunham, NAMA President | 7.24.16

Happy New Year, NAMA!

It seems a little funny to say, “Happy New Year,” but for the Nashville Chapter of the American Marketing Association (NAMA), it’s a New Year, and our talented new board has been busy with plans for new NAMA year 2016-2017.

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So in the spirit of the season, let’s throw some confetti and thank last year’s leaders for a great foundation on which to grow. And let’s countdown this New Year with some new goals and initiatives – because that’s what marketers do.

Here are some of the changes in our new year:

New Venue for Our Power Lunches
That’s right, we are moving our lunch meetings to the fantastic City Winery venue that will well accommodate our speakers and programming with state-of-the-art staging and audio-visual.

And we will have discounts for Lyft to get us there in style.

Our Hospitality Chair Teresa Faust is working with her group to get us ready for our first Thursday Power Lunch on Sept. 8. And our programming committee led by Ann Howard is planning smart insightful speakers.

New sponsor Relationary Marketing will create podcasts with our speakers to allow us to know them better.

The First NAMA JAMA
What’s your jam? Ours is The One Hitters, a fun One Hit Wonders Band, where NAMA member Peter Cronin and his band mates rock out.

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So “Baby Come Back” to our NAMA JAMA Mixer on Aug. 9 at Stagepost. You like it “More Today than Yesterday,” and you’ll be “Fallin’ in Love” with NAMA and your new friends.

Mixing Up Our Mixers
After NAMA JAMA, we’ll be hitting the road for our mixers, exploring offices of some of the top marketing groups in town and visiting some interesting businesses in town.

A big thanks goes to Lynn Bennett’s membership team and the Grand Mixer Bill Selph for getting us out on the town.

Also, look for impromptu invitations to pop-up events for drinks in a popular watering hole.

Serious about SIGs
President-Elect Lori Whitbey and the SIG chairs are working on new SIG events for B2B, Healthcare, Non-Profits, Marketing Technology, Research and Collegiate Relations.

Get to know our SIG Chairs – B2B’s Paula Milam, Healthcare’s Andrea Gillotte, Non-Profits’ Bob Duthie, Marketing Technology’s Knight Stivender, Research’s Sheila King and Collegiate Relations James Scherer and mark your calendar for your favorite group.

We will also be extending the invitation to members interested in SIG start-up events in new categories like entertainment.

Free Member Events
Sometimes we just like to roll up of sleeves and learn some new things.  Sponsorship’s chair Austin Harrison is working with our sponsors on some casual member-free events to allow us to learn some new skills. Stay tuned.

Our Sponsors are leading the way in making our year successful. We thank each of them for their contributions.

And our treasurers Jason Hoard and Jeff Peden are keeping us fiscally responsible. Oh, and they love a good party.

Our historian Julie McReynolds is providing continuity, and our secretary Kurt Kirton is working on updates to our Job Board.

Our Communications team, led by Melinda Hudgins Noblitt and our Social Media team chaired by Elizabeth Duffey, will make sure you are informed with new blogs, a newsletter, website updates, and social media. Mark your calendars!

And our Volunteer team chaired by Tim Earnhardt will make sure you find a place to plug in.

Our goals are pretty simple: this year is about making long-lasting marketing friends, learning some audacious new skills, and having a little fun.

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Please take the time to make new friends at NAMA. Instead of just coming to “network,” wouldn’t it be great if you got involved, made lasting relationships, learned some new skills, and found great business partners?!

That’s something to toast about! Happy New Year, NAMA!

 


jamiedunham

Jamie Dunham is 2016-2017 President of Nashville AMA. She is founder and president of Brand Wise, a brand strategy firm with a focus on building culturally relevant brands. She authors the popular blog Lipstick Economy offering perspectives on marketing to women. Brand Wise is hosting Red Letter Day, a one-day marketing to women event on August 5.